POST Online Media Lite Edition


Trump in hospital after contracting coronavirus

Christian Fernsby |
U.S. President Donald Trump, who has developed mild symptoms after testing positive for coronavirus, is currently staying at a military hospital as fallout from the test results continues to roil the country.

Article continues below

Topics: TRUMP   

Trump, wearing a mask and a suit, got off Marine One, the presidential helicopter, at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on Friday evening. He was accompanied by Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and the White House's medical unit.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement that Trump, 74, remains in good spirits and has been working throughout the day.

"Out of an abundance of caution, and at the recommendation of his physician and medical experts, the President will be working from the presidential offices at Walter Reed for the next few days," she said.

In an 18-second video recorded before getting on Marine One and then posted on Twitter, Trump said he wants to "thank everybody for the tremendous support."

"I think I'm doing very well, but we're going to make sure that things work out," the president said. "So thank you very much, I appreciate it, I will never forget it. Thank you."

White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah told CNN that Trump has not transferred his power temporarily to Vice President Mike Pence under the 25th amendment to the U.S. constitution. "The president is in charge," she said.

Trump announced on early Friday morning that he and his wife, Melania, had tested positive for coronavirus shortly after confirming White House counselor Hope Hicks, who had traveled with him multiple times this week, had been infected with coronavirus.

In a new memo, White House physician Sean Conley said Trump "remains fatigued but in good spirits" as of Friday afternoon, while revealing that the president had a single eight-gram dose of an experimental antibody therapy developed by Regeneron, a New York-based biotech company.

"In addition to the polyclonal antibodies, the President has been taking zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and a daily aspirin," Conley wrote.

The doctor added the first lady "remains well with only a mild cough and headache" and that the remainder of the first family are well and tested negative for coronavirus on Friday.

The first couple were also among a group of at least seven people, including two U.S. senators, who have been diagnosed with coronavirus after attending a White House Rose Garden event on Sept. 26 when Trump announced a Supreme Court nominee.

Pence, other members of Trump's cabinet, and several of his senior advisors have taken coronavirus tests and the results were negative. Three White House journalists had positive test results on Friday, according to White House Correspondents' Association President Zeke Miller.

Meadows told reporters on Friday that he expects more people in the White House to test positive for coronavirus. "I fully expect that as this virus continues to go on, other people in the White House will certainly have a positive test result," he said.

The White House official also said they were aware of Hicks' positive diagnosis before Marine One, carrying Trump and his aides, took off Thursday afternoon for Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, from where the president flew to New Jersey for a fundraiser.

"We discovered that right as the Marine One was taking off yesterday, we actually pulled some of the people that had been traveling and in close contact," Meadows said. "The reason why it was reported out was just frankly is that we had already started the contact tracing just prior to that event."

All previously announced campaign events involving Trump's appearance are in the process of being switched to virtual events or temporarily postponed, according to his campaign. Pence plans on resuming his scheduled campaign events, though.

The campaign for 2020 Democratic presidential nominee and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, 77, announced on Friday that it was pulling all negative campaign ads in the wake of Trump's coronavirus infection.

Biden, who shared a stage with Trump for the first 2020 presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio Tuesday night, said earlier that he and his wife, Jill Biden, have tested negative for coronavirus.

"Jill and I send our thoughts to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for a swift recovery," he tweeted. "We will continue to pray for the health and safety of the president and his family."

Former U.S. presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton also sent their wishes to the first couple.

"We wish the President and First Lady a speedy recovery, and hope for the safety of the White House staff, the Secret Service, and others putting their lives on the line," Clinton tweeted. "This pandemic has affected so many. We must continue to protect ourselves, our families, and communities."

More than 7.3 million people have caught coronavirus in the United States, with 208,693 deaths, according to tallies by Johns Hopkins University Friday night.

"The President's infection is a reminder that COVID is an ongoing threat. No one is safe not even heads of state until everyone is safe," Tom Frieden, former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tweeted. "We must better prevent and treat this virus."

What to read next

More education means less support for Trump
Trump divided America more than anything else
Only 36% of Americans think Trump is positive person